By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
The Hoteliers’ Association Of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter, has called on the state government to rescue the industry from prevalent multiple taxation and outrageous bills in the state.
The association’s President, Mr Ayodele Ogundele, made the appeal in Ibadan, while briefing newsmen on Monday.
According to Ogundele, paying multiple taxes and outrageous bills to the state government has worsened the situation of the members of the association.
He said that after managing to survive the challenges of COVID-19, the sector had experienced massive inflation and shortage of staff.
Ogundele expressed dissatisfaction that the industry had experienced serious downturn due to the global economic situation, following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the latest increase in fuel, diesel and total lack of electricity supply in the country had also affected their businesses, that were now on the verge of total collapse.
“We once asked the Oyo State Government to harmonise our bills, we negotiated with them, they gave us bill in January, February, every year and latest by July we paid.
“But, in a bid to raise revenues, with the setting up of Local Council Development Area (LCDA), we now pay taxes to the state government, local government and also to the LCDA.
“Also, since the last administration, we had been paying for generator emissions even for generators that we are not using; making generating electricity an expensive part of our business.
“All hoteliers are currently running at below 50 per cent of our capacity because of the cost of electricity generation.
“We are no longer generating enough money to pay and take care of our staff and many of them are leaving even when we need them most, because we can no longer pay their salaries.
“We really need the help of the government at this critical time, before our businesses collapse’’, he said.
dele said the tourism and hospitality industry was one of the largest employers of labour in the country and should not be allowed to collapse because the sector could not pay its staff and even make profit.
“The hospitality industry contributes a lot, especially in the area of job creations; our industry is not the type government should watch to suffer at all, because it would affect all sectors, including the food sector.
“Tourism depends a lot on infrastructural development such as health, security, road construction and others, so that government at all levels should strive to provide an enabling environment for tourism to thrive in the country’’, he said.
Members of the association present at the briefing included Chief Joseph Emoabino (Vice President), Dr Yemisi Bhadmus, Mrs Anna Anjorin (Welfare Officer) and Mr Kunle Adesanya(PRO). (NAN)